Thomas E. Reilly, 93, died on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, at Valley Regional Medical Center in Brownsville.|
Tom was born in Watertown, South Dakota.
He attended grade school and high school in Watertown and Miller, South Dakota. Tom graduated from St. Johns University in Minnesota with a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy. He spent the next 15 years with a private corporation in Alaska living in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Ketchikan.
He married Anne Dimond and they had two sons born in Ketchikan. Tom served on the Ketchikan Public Utilities Board and the Ketchikan City Council. He was also active in the Alaska Statehood Movement. The first Governor of the new State of Alaska appointed him to the Alaska Public Service Commission; however, before taking office he took a job with the U.S. State Department Foreign Service and was assigned to Afghanistan.
After a two-year tour in Afghanistan, Tom returned to his former company in Alaska, but two years later returned to the State Department and was stationed in Vietnam, while his family was safe-havened in Bangkok, Thailand. From Vietnam, he was transferred to Thailand where his wife, Anne, passed away at the age of 49. Tom remained in Thailand for several years to enable his two sons to graduate from high school. During that time he met and married Carolyn Baldwin who was also employed by the State Department. Later they took a dual assignment to Vietnam, where they were when Vietnam fell to the Vietcong. From there they took a dual assignment with the U.S. Treasury Department in Saudi Arabia, where a Joint Economic Commission was being implemented with the Saudi government. Returning to the State Department after a two year assignment with the Treasury, they were assigned to North Yemen. While in Yemen, Tom was caught up in the State Department's mandatory retirement regulation. He then accompanied his wife to Lesotho, a small country in Africa, for a six-year assignment after which, in 1986, they flew directly to Brownsville, where they had previously purchased a house for retirement. Tom's travels took him to over 40 countries throughout the world.
Tom was a past member of the Lions and Rotary clubs in Alaska and a past member of the Kiwanis Club of Brownsville. He was a life member of the Knights of Columbus in Watertown, South Dakota, as well as the Elks Club of Anchorage and Brownsville and a life member of NARFE. Tom was also a past member of the Brownsville Chapter of Alhambra and a volunteer state ombudsman in connection with nursing homes. He was a member of St. Luke's Catholic Church, where he served for many years as an usher and for a time was a member of the finance committee.
Tom is survived by his wife, Carolyn, of Brownsville, and two sons, Dr. James A. (Sabah) Reilly of Toronto, Canada, and Thomas D. (Sandra) Reilly of Grangeville, Idaho; four grandsons, three granddaughters, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins on both coasts, Alaska, and the Midwest.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, four brothers and one sister.
In accordance with Tom's wishes, he has been cremated.
Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 27, 2013, with the recitation of the Holy Rosary at 7 p.m. in the West Chapel at Darling-Mouser Funeral Home Chapel.
A Memorial Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 28, 2013, at St. Luke's Catholic Church, 2800 Rockwell Drive. All services will conclude after the Mass.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts in Tom's name may be made to the
You may view the obituary, sign the guest book and send condolences to the Reilly family online at www.darlingmouser.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Darling-Mouser Funeral Home, 945 Palm Blvd., (956) 546-7111.
Published in Brownsville Herald on Apr. 25, 2013